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The Devil Under the Maison Blue

Gillian notices that no one ever closed Mr. Elling’s attic window. A week has passed since the brief swirl of ambulance lights near dawn. Already his house seems decades older. She’s staring across at it when she hears his voice say, “Lord, child, you about run as far as you can get.” He has a […]

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A House of Anxious Spiders

The children’s fight punctured the cordial atmosphere of the old woman’s funeral. Two small boys, opposite sides of the family, had gotten into a full-blown quarrel. And because they had not yet learned to keep their mouths shut, that meant it became a spiderfight. The old woman had not been that old, but that was […]

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Hani’s: Purveyor of Rusks, Biscuits, and Sweet Tea

In those years of sunshine that battered the streets, and deluges that wrinkled fingers and toes, the villagers never suspected Hafeez of anything more than putting holes in their teeth. He made bonbons and baked bread. The bread was his livelihood, the bonbons for the pleasure of the village children. When Hafeez lacked the gumption […]

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An Ocean of Eyes

One “If I were the mayor, I’d have renamed this town long ago,” announces the man beside me, his chuckle wet with old hurts. I turn to read the scythe of his mouth, his milk-pale skin, his eyes like tatters of the noon sky. A foreigner, most definitely. Only outlanders court strangers in bus stands. […]

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The Ghost of You Lingers

The Victorian House in Old Town The first house the real estate agent shows you will not work. It reminds you too much of the house you grew up in—old, dark, cluttered. A musty odor hangs in the air, the sort of smell that has become as much a part of the house as its […]

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